According to Kelly Crow, Tad Smith was chosen as the new CEO because he can “toggle.” The Wall Street Journal’s presenter, Geoffrey Rogow, points out that MSG has been criticized for its management culture. Rogow also points out that CEOs are chosen for their connections. He asks Crow how important those were in Smith’s getting the job. Crow responds that they were “crucial” without saying what connections Smith might have that would be valuable to Sotheby’s.
In her story for WSJ, Crow has a little bit of trouble coming up with relevant experience from Smith’s resume despite de Sole’s introduction on a pre-market conference call that claimed Smith had led an international sales force:
At MSG, Mr. Smith isn’t in charge of negotiating team salaries or show lineups at these venues, but he manages the company’s financials and oversaw development of Radio City’s new Rockettes show, “Spring Spectacular,” now in previews.
Before that, Mr. Smith was president of local media sales for Cablevision Systems Corp. under executive chairman James Dolan, whose family spun off the publicly held MSG from Cablevision five years ago. Madison Square Garden said it would begin an immediate search for a successor, with Mr. Dolan overseeing the company’s activities in the interim.
Mr. Smith’s departure from MSG comes at a time when the sports and media company is exploring breakup scenarios—including separating its entertainment businesses from its media and sports operations—but Mr. Smith declined to discuss future moves. Instead, he pointed to an earlier calling card: While at Cablevision, he said he led a team that created a system that allowed the cable company to tailor the ads it broadcast to its 2.5 million households, with dog owners getting more dog-food ads and new homeowners getting additional home-improvement store ads.